By Isa Covott
This soup is very popular in Greece and is always served when people return home from Midnight Mass. Because it’s so popular, it’s also served year round. There is a version with lamb, this one served at Easter. The Greek Jewish population adopted it and you can find it served often among them, especially before or after the fast of Yom Kippur. Vegetarians can omit the chicken and use white vegetarian broth.
If making the broth from scratch, you can add pieces of skinned chicken to the soup; don’t throw out the skin—lay it in one layer, on a slightly oiled, rimmed baking pan, and slow bake it at 250 degrees for about an hour until crisp.
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup rice, rinsed
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
A pinch of grated nutmeg (optional)
1 or 2 bay leaves
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (optional)
2 large eggs, whole
Juice of two lemons, or to taste.
2 tablespoons minced parsley (optional)
1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, over medium high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the rice and the seasonings (not the eggs, lemon juice, or parsley), and stir to distribute the ingredients.
2. Lower the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the eggs with the lemon juice.
4.When the rice is ready, uncover the saucepan, but do not remove from the heat.
5. Add a ladleful of the soup to the egg-lemon mixture and whisk to combine all the ingredients.
6.Pour this mixture over the soup and mix well. Heat it for a minute or two, but do not allow it to boil. Mix in the parsley.
Yield: About 4 servings